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on the road

For the first time in over 15 years, I have a bike! It is my birthday present from the lovely Patsington and I got it on Saturday. I rode it home from the bike shop (only a mile, most of which is a bike lane), which was grand, and then decided to cycle to Blackrock yesterday to see how long it would take to get to work. It was the first time I'd hit the (main) road in a very long time, but there was hardly any traffic so it wasn't too nerve-wracking and I was feeling rather pleased with myself. This morning, however, was another story. Yesterday was mild and balmy with typical Sunday traffic; today was wet and windy with typical Monday morning traffic, and I'm afraid to admit that at one stage I was so freaked out by the huge articulated lorries zooming past me on the narrow twisty road that I got on the path and sort of scooted along at a walking pace for a while. So my new cycling career was not an unqualified triumph. But hopefully I'll get less nervous soon and will survive my commute unscathed....

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
glitterboy1
Sep. 24th, 2007 10:32 am (UTC)
Eeep. If the weather there this morning was anything like the weather here, it was brave of you to venture out in it - I think that was pretty much a triumph in itself. I don't think *anyone* was enjoying life on the roads here this morning.

It's so much a matter of confidence, and I'm sure that that will come back quickly. Good luck with it!
chiasmata
Sep. 24th, 2007 10:37 am (UTC)
Your weather sounds much like ours this morning: I abandoned my bike in favour of my car! You're a braver woman that I am...
hfnuala
Sep. 24th, 2007 11:13 am (UTC)
Yay bike!
Lorries are the most scary thing to have pass you. I still remember being pushed off the road by one when I first started cycling in London. Believe it or not, it might be easier if you are further out in the road - that way they *have* to think before passing you. But it feels wrong and scary at first, so it's a difficult technique to learn cycling by yourself. I found going on group cycles a really good way to pick up those kinds of tips. The bike shop should be able to tell you if there's something suitable.
stellanova
Sep. 24th, 2007 11:42 am (UTC)
Re: Yay bike!
That's a good idea - and if there isn't a local one, I have several cycling pals who might allow me to tag along (although some of them are serious cyclers who go on 200k treks around the Wicklow mountains every weekend, so I might have to ask them to slow down a bit). I really was terrified on my journey this morning, but I consoled myself with the knowledge that I can always go on the path for a while, and if I got really freaked out, I can just walk to work pushing the bike, which would not be possible if I were learning to drive a car. To be honest, the bad weather was what freaked me out the most - I was convinced that every gust of wind would blow me in front of a car...
gwennie
Sep. 24th, 2007 11:44 am (UTC)
A recent journal-spotter here!
Hello,
Had to comment on this(Mostly to say 'Good on ya, thats very brave!, after only 2 days 'back on the saddle' like!)

So what bike shop did u go to out of interest, I have recently got a bike, but it needs some 'extras'..like mudguards :~(
I'd love to be able to cycle to work (Blackrock also!) but then I'd have that big hill to cycle home.. :/ Home is Milltown, so alas is not that close now really!
stellanova
Sep. 24th, 2007 12:59 pm (UTC)
Re: A recent journal-spotter here!
I went to the bike shop in Deansgrange - the man who runs it was really nice and helpful!
snowballjane
Sep. 24th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
Ooh, hooray for you! I used to cycle a bit in Wolverhampton, but found the busy roads terrifying after a childhood of quiet estate roads and canal towpaths.
stellanova
Sep. 24th, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC)
I had the same youthful biking experience - I used to cycle to school but the route went through our estate, down a cul de sac (it had a lane at the top from our estate), and then down a very wide tree-lined avenue - it was downhill until the last 100 yards and took about five minutes (the way home was more strenuous but equally un-scary). So I'm not used to lorries and their ilk!
zoje_george
Sep. 24th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC)
You poor thing!

Come visit me for a month. You will become completely inured to traffic of any sort!
stellanova
Sep. 24th, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
Aieee, even the thought of cycling in the traffic you've described in the past scares me!
biascut
Sep. 24th, 2007 01:56 pm (UTC)
You are super brave! I'd do quite a bit more podding about in nice weather and on smaller roads before I tackled gusts of wind and lorries, and that's just if I was riding a bike I wasn't used to, never mind if I hadn't ridden one for years.

it's not always that bad, I promise! There will also be balmy summer evenings floating along, and days when it's fking cold but you get to work all tingly and glowy because you made it up the hill. Hurray for cycling!
stellanova
Sep. 24th, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed my jaunt yesterday! But this morning was not fun at all - I was about a quarter of the way there when I wanted to just abandon the bike and go home. If my area wasn't so full of truly hideous hills (my road is basically a 45 degree angle), I would go on little local cycles but sadly my neck of the woods is a bit too mountainous to be relaxing or fun.
barsine
Sep. 24th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
Push your bike up and down your hill, or get P to throw it in the back of the car and take you to a park, or somewhere with a nice long cycle path to practise on.

When I first started cycling to work I used to go the long way, so I could use the cycle path on the Clontarf Road (which is separated from the road by a little wall); it was a couple of weeks before I braved the shorter, but less relaxing, Howth Road route!

I know the 'I'll just leave it here, I hate it' feeling too -- but hopefully your love of your bike will stop you doing that! It's only a tender-hearted, over-anthropomorphic feeling towards my bike that stops me leaving it locked on O'Connell Street on rainy evenings! ('It will be afraid, drunks might hassle it. It will wonder why it's not in its nice warm garage!')
starfishchick
Sep. 24th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
Bicycle!!

I am too terrified of riding on the roads - and it's against the law to ride on the sidewalks - but I do love riding a bike.
cangetmad
Sep. 24th, 2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
Hooray for you! I resumed my bike-commuting career today, but had to push my bike up the final very steep hill bit.
anglaisepaon
Sep. 24th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, how cool! I would love one, but like Steph, it's against the law to ride on the sidewalks here, and I'm not stupid enough to ride with cars alongside me.

Good luck with your new toy.
helianthemum
Sep. 29th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
Congrats on your new bike!

This is very random, but I was searching for my childhood pen-pal's name on Google, and your LJ popped up... did you by any chance exchange letters with a very geeky girl in Kansas when you were young?
stellanova
Sep. 29th, 2007 09:25 am (UTC)
Oh my god, yes! Well, no more geeky than me, anyway. But yes, from Oskaloosa (sp?), which I thought was the coolest name for a town (or was it a county?) imaginable. There's still a sticker saying "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" on the inside of the wardrobe door in my old room at my parents' house, sent by you about 25 years ago!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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